Many of you will see on Indian Independence Day wishes to Indians for Happy Independence Day.
This is wrong.
You're welcome world is the greeting. You're welcome for the largest volunteer army in the history of the world that fought for western democracy and liberalism against tyranny and hopelessness in a conflict not of her making.
You're welcome for Mahatma Gandhi of whom it was said “I believe, when we most needed it, he offered the world a way out of madness." through non-violence. You're welcome for the world's largest democracy on a day when theocrats laud attacks on a writer and communists persecute thousands of Muslims.
You're welcome for the pharmacy of the world which provides the vaccines and the medicines for the rest of us. You're welcome for a secular liberal constitution under whose sky one in six of humanity sleep. You're welcome for a country that showed the highest offices can be held by a minority faith - time and again - a feat few in the West have managed despite advertising their credentials relentlessly to be capable of it.
You’re welcome for the largest most diverse population in the world defying all logic and predictions and basically keeping their act together and not messing things up for everyone. It ain't easy, it's a miracle.
Yes, yes, do comment about the imperfections - but leave it till tomorrow; today, just celebrate in admiration.
So, for all humanity - Happy Independence Day.
Switching from the birth of a nation to the death of one of her sons. The words of the Chairman of this major bank of its former Co-CEO are telling. "Anshu Jain played a key role in expanding Deutsche Bank's position in our global business with companies and institutional investors. Today, this is of strategic importance not just for Deutsche Bank, but for Europe as a financial centre," Alexander Wynaendts, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Deutsche Bank.
"Europe as a financial centre". There was a time if you said an Indian would be CEO of a one of the most important European Banks, let alone President of a major American one, you'd be laughed at. Today, were an Indian not in contention to be leader of a major company or country, it would be surprising.
Happy Independence Day India for 15th Aug - your sons and daughters continue to do you proud from the nurses to the corporate titans - the new soldiers replacing the old who went to foreign shores and were the pride of the nation.
For me it was his continued philanthropy for causes global and Indian that was inspiring. He never forgot his roots.
They are not long, the days of wine and roses:
Out of a misty dream
Our path emerges for a while, then closes
Within a dream.
And finally, one more political observation. I saw pictures of Rishi Sunak and contrasted hustings with Indian audiences (preaching to the converted) where he is mobbed like a rock star unsurprisingly and more mainstream Conservative Party audiences – non-Indian origin, folded hands, seated, pearls and twinsets. That’s where the battle is.
The battle is also in specifics. 10 point plans should state not just 1. I will reduce energy bills but 1. I will reduce energy bills to their average of the past decade by enforcing a cap on companies. What you will do and how you will do it. That’s psychology. And nine more on the things the Conservative Membership are most concerned about – such as 2. Energy security 3. Defence 4. Law and Order 5. Control on spending 6. A smaller State 7. Border control 8. The Union 9. Winning the election and keeping the red wall seats 10. NHS efficiency and throw in UK’s place in the world through NATO/UN/US alliance projecting significance on the world stage. What will you do, how will you do it, with specific numbers.